KS3 Summary (Year 7 and 8)

Year 7

We embrace the change to secondary school by considering ourselves as readers; what do we enjoy reading? What makes a ‘good’ reader? What should we be reading next? We also focus on writing in a variety of styles appropriate to purpose and exploring written texts, all around the theme of ‘Dragons’!.

As the academic year progresses, we will explore aspects of our literary heritage: the prose, poetry and plays that still matter to us now, although written before we were born and often even before our grandparents were born! We will discover the Greek myths, practise our rhetorical skills, and immerse ourselves in William Shakespeare’s England, with its bear-pits and blank verse; its playwrights and theatres; and its political intrigues.

We tell stories every day – to each other over coffee, through books, plays, films and TV. Stories have always been powerful, from when we gathered around a fire in a cave to listen, right up to being dazzled by 3D. Here, in the third term, we will read and listen to stories inspired by the area we live in. We will explore how we can create our own stories and how best to listen and understand the stories of others. We will study local writers, novels, plays and poems, evaluating, discussing and enjoying the texts.

Year 8

In the first term, we establish our notion of ‘genre’ and study one genre in particular:  Gothic literature. We consider how a writer can effectively create atmosphere, develop characters and how the structure of a text can alter our perceptions. We can identify the conventions of the genre and can apply them to our own creative writing.  We consider the importance of narrative voice in both texts we read and write. 

When we move into our second term, we look to our past and dip our toes into Anglo Saxon and middle English- we hear of the mighty deeds of Beowulf and listen to Chaucer’s Canterbury tale. We think about how our language has developed into what it is today. We move onto study another genre-‘Spies and Detectives’. We explore a range of the genre from Sherlock Holmes to the present day and create our own gripping narratives!.

In the final term of year 8, We study the breadth of Shakespeare’s work, considering themes and stories. We think about how these are still relevant to us today. Students study six plays in six weeks with six teachers on our Shakespeare Merry-Go-Round!

We end the year by studying the genre ‘Science Fiction and Dystopia’, applying all the reading and writing skills we have mastered over our time at Applemore.

KS4 Summary (Year 9, 10 and 11)

Year 9

Year 9 is very much a transition year from KS3 to GCSE - this year is the foundation for a successful GCSE experience. Still thinking about changes, we want them to be the change they want to see in the world. We open with approaches to a novel in the first term, encouraging “determination, confidence and independent learning”. We hone our own original writing skills and skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation when studying texts. We refine the essential skills of speaking and listening.

In preparation for next year’s GCSE courses, both in English Literature and English Language, we study texts from our literary heritage, focussing on American Literature and poetry from other cultures.

As we continue through the year, we take a magnifying glass to the past, looking at one of Shakespeare’s plays in detail, analysing and evaluating a genius at work. We read the poetry of conflict; we study Sassoon, Owen and Brookes, and ask ourselves how their poetry was informed by its context. We also look at poems written in more recent conflicts.

In the final term, we develop our understanding of a range of skills: reading and writing non- fiction texts, creative writing, technical accuracy, inference, deduction and constructing literary essays.

Year 10

At KS 4 students follow the WJEK EDUQAS GCSE Specifications in both English Literature and the English Language. Both courses are assessed by a terminal examination at the end of Year 11. English Language has a Speaking and Listening component which is un-weighted, but compulsory, This is itemised on the certificate as Pass, Credit or Distinction. There are opportunities to study poetry, Shakespeare, 19th century prose, a post 1914 set text, and to write in a variety of text types. Non-fiction texts from both 19th and 29th centuries are also explores.  Although the courses are rigorous, robust and challenging, they are also stimulating, relevant and rewarding. 

Year 11

Students will continue to prepare for terminal examinations in English Language and English Literature by practising their responses to reading and writing tasks, and mastering revision and examination techniques.


Department Staff

Mrs S Stratford (Head of English)

Mr L Dales (Second in English)

Mrs S Bartram (Teacher of English)

Mrs J Plummer (Year 11 Progress Leader, Teacher of English)

Mrs H Topham (Teacher of English)

Mrs J Francis-Brown (Teacher of English)


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Poetry Grand Slam 2016

On Tuesday 10th May, Applemore welcomed visiting poet Matthew West, who treated our year 7, 8 and 9 Able, Gifted and Talented students to a two-hour poetry workshop.

After listening to Matthew’s unique performance of his poem about a rottweiler and his owner, students then had a chance to try out ther poetic talents using a variety of stimulating and quite challenging techniques.

Matthew will be returning to Applemore in June in order to see our students’ completed poems.

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